Earlier today the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—visited the Temple of Hephaestus to pay homage to the patron god of metal working and craftsmanship. Then we headed to Athens to review Freaky Fortune and Riskykidd’s Eurovision 2014 song “Rise Up”. Did we follow their order to stand up and dance? Or did we rise up so that we could leave ‘da club? Read on to find out…
Billy: Well, this year it couldn’t be Greek-ska again. “Rise Up” is a very nice, pop entry which will make the Eurofans dance. It generally talks about revolution, in a pop way, while there is that Balkan sound in the beginning. It may not finish in the top-10, but it will for sure win the Europeans’ hearts.
Katie: I like this one. The fact that it starts with trumpets makes me like it even more, taking a leaf out of Koza Mostra’s book is always a good idea. The rapper hails from London, and I like that he’s keeping it real with that cockney accent. Once there’s actual singing, it’s all dancey and so much fun! By the chorus, I’m doing some crazy “We no speak Americano” dance. This song is so much fun!
Angus: Hera. Have. Mercy. Greece, what is this? We forgave you for sending the poor man’s Kalomira in 2012. We forgave you for ripping off ‘OPA’ last year in Malmö. But I can’t forgive you for this. Who thought sending the mutant offspring of Sakis Rouvas and Stereo Mike was a good idea? ‘Rise Up’ is about as textbook as Eurodance comes and feels like an Inna B-Side or the cast-off from an Alexandra Stan album rather than anything anyone would take seriously.
Bogdan: When I moved to Romania back in 2011, this is the kind of music that got played on the radio ALL. THE. TIME. I was very surprised to see that Greece chose this outdated number to represent their country in 2014, but hey, to each their own. The beginning sounds promising (props to Riskykidd!), but then when the chorus starts, “Rise Up” loses me. It’s fun and I might dance to it in B&W, but quality-wise, it’s an unfortunate choice. I agree with Angus, this sounds like a Inna or Alexandra Stan B-side, circa three years ago. (Mind you, this means Greece could get 10 or even 12 points from Romanian televoters in the Final.) PS: Too bad the guys can’t send their brilliant Eurovision medley!
Deban: What sounds like the soundtrack to a sunny Cypriot holiday in 1992, resurrects itself as this year’s Greek Eurovision entry. Yes, Freaky Fortune and British rapper Riskykidd are a sight for sore eyes, but their urban swagger needs to cut more slack in order to bag my vote. What was crafted as a revolutionary dance anthem translates into an annoying reprise. Well, that’s my view. Fortunately, the Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model prize is also up for grabs. This is their best hope.
Vebooboo: When I heard the opening rap verse of this song, I immediately rolled my eyes. When will people learn that rap and Eurovision do not a good combo tend to make? Luckily, the song turns into a relatively generic upbeat number shortly thereafter. Now, nobody’s going to forget the name of this song. I mean, “rise up” literally represents about 70% of the words in the song. Perhaps the songwriter charged the Greek government per unique word? If so, (s)he needs to stop being so greedy and learn to diversify things a bit. The tune is catchy, though, and Eurovision ain’t exactly an intellectual affair. So I’d be surprised if this number doesn’t make it through. Welcome back, Greece!
Mike: There is only one thing to say about this song: another TOP 10 placing for Greece. The song is okay, and in the club it could really work. But it’s not Eurovision. If it does well it’s only because the Greek diaspora is sending through a lot of televotes…
Padraig: It’s no coincidence that the word “adonis” originated in Greece. From Sakis Rouvas to Elias Kozas they’ve never been shy to flaunt their male hotties on Europe’s biggest stage, and this year is no exception. I could happily spend my days staring at Freaky Fortune and Risky Kidd, but as we all know Eurovision is not a beauty contest. Which in this case is unfortunate, because “Rise Up” isn’t fit for much. It’s like a diluted version of “Bom Bom” by Sam and the Womp, while the lyrics seem to have been written by someone playing a very repetitive game of innuendo bingo. I’m afraid all the rising is going to be in the *cough* pants department rather than on the leaderboard.
Sami: When I first heard the song it was just another piece of radio pop for me, and I actually cheered for Kostas Martakis to win Greek Eurosong. But after the Greeks chose “Rise Up” I started to play it more and fell in love. I love these guys (especially Nikolas, grr!) and they sound great live. There isn’t much happening in the song, but damn, it really makes me dance! It’s not as good as last year’s entry, which I loved, but I hope “Rise Up” gets a good place in the Eurovision final, which they will surely qualify for.
Wiwi: As Riskykidd says, their flow is oh-so-freaky and these boys are oh-so-cheeky. They exude swagger without coming off as arrogant, and they scream pop star without oozing ego. With that kind of likeability, they could sing a Gregorian chant and still do well at Eurovision. Fortunately they bring a song that makes my head bob and that conveys a message of perseverance wrapped up in catchy pop. It’s songs like this that make me love Eurovision.
All 19 jurors review each song, but we only have enough space to share 10 of their reviews. The nine remaining scores are listed below.
James L: 8/10
Maxim Montana: 8/10
William C: 7.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped before we calculate the final average. We have dropped a low of 2 and a high of 9.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.62/10
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.